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Westport Real Estate Group: We Will Survive GE Move

General Electric's move should not have a dramatic impact on local real estate, according to Westport-based KMS Partners.
General Electric's move should not have a dramatic impact on local real estate, according to Westport-based KMS Partners. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. -- Here at KMS Partners, we’re used to dealing with buyers and sellers who relocate.

But what happens when hundreds of people relocate at once?

That’s what Fairfield County residents are asking, in the wake of GE’s announcement that it will move its longtime Fairfield headquarters to Boston. Several hundred employees will be affected, beginning this summer. The move is expected to be completed by 2018.

The impact on local real estate is too early to know. But a look at past events with severe economic consequences provides some guidance.

Fairfield County’s real estate market survived the horrific economic housing correction of 2008. We recovered from the earth-shattering, very close tragedy of 9/11. We bounced back from a lot more too, from double-digit interest rates in the 1970s to Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

With a hat tip to Gloria Gaynor: GE may go, but we will survive.

There are several reasons why. One is this area’s amazing amenities. We’ve got Long Island Sound, beaches and marinas. Our schools are consistently ranked among the top in the country. Shopping, dining – Fairfield County residents live “lifestyles,” not lives. And we’re just a few miles from New York City – America’s most exciting and vibrant city.

Of course, we still must consider the effect of GE’s decision on property values, and the area’s real estate market.  Final figures are not yet in, but it appears that 200 employees will be offered jobs in Boston. Others may retire, or seek other employment. Some will work at GE’s Norwalk office, which will remain open.

GE’s work force resides not just in Fairfield, but throughout Fairfield County (and beyond). So the effect will not be felt too drastically in any one community.

And the handsome headquarters near the Merritt Parkway will not remain vacant. Developers are already figuring out how to repurpose the property. Whatever happens, a new venture will create – or bring – jobs.

So what does this all mean for you? KMS Partners’ advice is to examine your real estate goals: short-, medium- and long-range. Talk with us. We can help determine if your goals are in line with current market trends.

We’ll help you study the market, and stay on top of it. If you continue to align your goals with everything that’s happening locally, you’ll respond intelligently.  In the meantime: If you’re looking for a 526,406-square foot office complex on 68 acres – with hotel rooms, a TV studio and helipad – we know one for sale.

KMS Partners at Coldwell Banker, founded in 1999, is an exclusive partnership within the Coldwell Banker Westport-Riverside office. KMS consists of partners Sheila Keenan, Laurie Morris, Karen Scott, Susan Seath, Mary Ellen Gallagher, David Weber and Kim Harizman.

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